A former President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki, has hinted at a high possibility of contesting the 2023 presidential election, even as a former governor of Imo State, Senator Rochas Okorocha has also declared his intention to vie for the nation’s number one job.
Hinting at a possibility of throwing his hat in the ring, Saraki, yesterday, on his official Facebook page, relayed an encounter with a follower on Twitter, who charged him to run and in his response, hinted at the possibility.
“Earlier, I replied to a follower of mine on Twitter, who like thousands of you, has been clamouring for a united front to #RescueNigeria.
“As we prepare for the journey ahead, I hope we can all join hands to get the ticket of our great party, PDP, and build a nation that works for all of us.
“Join me to make our communities safer and provide real opportunities for you and your families. I have a strong record of delivering and experience in making tough decisions. Let’s build a new Nigeria that works for EVERYONE!” the former governor said.
Although many commentators had interpreted his post as simply declaring for the presidency, sources in his camp however dismissed it, saying, “Is that how to declare? Of course, his comment might have hinted at the possibility of running, which is on the card, but the truth is that he is yet to formally declare.”
In a related development, Okorocha, yesterday, swelled the rank of presidential aspirants on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), when he declared his intention to run on the floor of the senate.
In a letter forwarded to the Senate President, Dr. Ahmad Lawan, and read to other lawmakers, Okorocha said his joining the race was to offer Nigerians the leadership that would take Nigerians out of the wilderness.
He said the country, at the moment needed “a detribalised Nigerian, who can unite our country, a leader with a compassionate heart, who will care for the poor and downtrodden and the masses of our country, a visionary leader, who can create wealth for our teaming populace thereby, addressing the issues of poverty, insecurity and youth restiveness.”
Also, the letter informed the lawmakers of a proposed World Press Conference to be hosted by him Monday 31st January, 2022 at the Executive Hall of the International Conference Centre, Abuja at 11am.
The letter stated in part: “As you are aware, the Independent National Electoral Commission, has announced the time table for the conduct of 2023 general election, including that of the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“With elections drawing nearer as the days go by, our citizens are concerned about the quality of persons to run the affairs of our nation, one, who can address some of their major concerns.
“It is as a result of these concerns that I wish to hold a world press conference on my intention to run for the office of the President of our dear Nation. I, therefore, wish to solicit for your prayers as I make known my intention,” he said.
A three-time presidential aspirant, who made his first outing 20 years ago on the platform of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), Okorocha also sought the party’s presidential ticket alongside Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, Chief Nnia Nwodo and Chief Harry Akande.
In 2007, he ran on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) coming second to late President Umar Musa Yar’adua, in a contest that also had Prof Jerry Gana, Gen. Mohammed Gusau and Gen. Buba Marwa.
In 2015, he also contested the presidential ticket with Buhari alongside other APC contestants and lost to the incumbent.